Orange County Outdoors Ministry is a Christ-centered ministry devoted to combating hunger in our community and bringing together outdoors enthusiasts in an environment that fosters spiritual growth and fellowship.
OCOM is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and charitable organization. OCOM was founded in Orange County, North Carolina and we have been blessed to form relationships across the United States.
The Mission of Orange County Outdoors Ministry is threefold:
REACHING UP, REACHING OUT, AND REACHING IN
- Loving God; Reaching up to God through Bible study and prayer
- Matthew 22:37 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul with all your mind”
- Serving our community
- Matthew 22:39 “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
- Support the needs of individuals within the group
- Fellowship and support through outdoor activities
- Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you fulfill the law of Christ”
“Hunting brought me back to God,” says Rob Gray, of Efland, N.C.
I started hunting and spending more time in the outdoors shortly after my father’s death. It was very therapeutic for me and ultimately, it was life changing. My initial passion was deer hunting, and when you are sitting in a tree, 20 feet off of the ground, you do not have much to do other than to be still. For me, this was a prime opportunity to remove myself from the craziness of regular life and to be alone with my thoughts while observing nature. No emails. No phone calls. No television. It was just me and nature. This kind of “quiet time” gave me the opportunity to contemplate where I was at in my life and ultimately, how I wanted to move forward. I thought more and more about exploring my faith, which led me to picking up a Bible for the first time in 15 years. My family started going to church on a regular basis and shortly thereafter, I committed myself to using whatever gifts I had to help carry out God’s work.
I became familiar with many Christ-centered organizations such as Anathoth Community Garden & Farm and Ironman Outdoors. I also started learning about Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry and other programs aimed at reducing hunger. It became clear to me that my interests were rooted in outdoors activities and food ministry. I wanted to create a model that allowed community members to interact with and help each other. My overriding thought was: “If a simple outdoors experience could bring me closer to my family and to God, then maybe it could do the same for others.”
We launched Orange County Outdoors Ministry in 2015 and we have been growing exponentially since then. Our food ministry results have far exceeded expectations and we have been blessed to have enough support to sustain operations and fuel steady growth. We are making a positive impact in and around Orange County and I am very excited for the future.